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A Vegetarian’s Guide of What Food to Bring Backpacking

A Vegetarian’s Guide of What Food to Bring Backpacking

When backpacking as a vegetarian, it can sometimes be hard to find food to pack that is both light and full of calories. Many websites suggest bulking up on meats as a way to supply yourself with plenty of energy and nutrients, but there are many other foods that can provide the needed nutrients for the duration of your hike, which are perfect for vegetarians.

So, what vegetarian food is best for you to take on your backpacking trip? There are many different options for vegetarians when choosing what food to pack. There are store-bought options, homemade recipes, and great snacks to keep you energized on the trail. In this article, we’ll go over all of those different options and more.

Let’s dive into some of those different options and where we can go to find them!


The first category of vegetarian food options that we’ll go over is store-bought food. There are so many stores and online companies that sell delicious and quick vegetarian meals specifically for camping and backpacking. One company that has many great options is Food for the Sole. Following are some of their top-selling meals.

Ratatouille with Nutty Quinoa Pilaf

  • $12.00
  • Calories 128/oz.
  • Net Weight 4.3 oz.
  • Protein 17 g. (full-sized)
This limited-time meal packs a lot of punch in a small pouch. It includes the following delicious ingredients: bell peppers, zucchini, onions, quinoa, eggplant, tomatoes, olive oil, basil, garlic, salt, bay leaf, and black pepper. Buy this delicious meal here!

Garlic Green Bean and Cashew Stir-Fry

  • $5.95 lunch-size
  • $11.00 full-size
  • Calories 143 oz.
  • Net Weight 3.7 oz.
  • Protein 15 g. (full-sized)

This stir-fry includes many different healthy ingredients including green beans, noodles, onions, carrots, cashew nuts, tamari, Shaoxing rice wine, agave, garlic, sesame oil, olive oil, cornstarch, ginger, salt, red pepper flakes. You can buy this delicious meal here!

Zesty Miso Broccoli Slaw

  • $5.95 lunch-size
  • $11.00 full size
  • Calories 166/oz.
  • Net Weight 3.5 oz.
  • Protein 15 g. (full-sized)

This Broccoli Slaw is a delicious and refreshing salad including ingredients such as broccoli, red cabbage, walnuts, orange juice, rice vinegar, scallions, agave syrup, sesame oil, miso, black sesame seeds, canola oil, salt, ginger and garlic. This meal is available here.

Triple Peanut Slaw

  • $5.95 lunch-size
  • $11.00 full size
  • Calories 178/oz.
  • Net Weight 3.2 oz.
  • Protein 21 g. (full-sized)

This slaw is packed with protein and many other nutrients because of ingredients such as cabbage, peanuts, bell peppers, carrots, red cabbage, peanut butter, rice vinegar, agave, scallions, olive oil, cilantro, sesame oil, ginger, salt, tamari and garlic. This calorie-rich meal is available here.

Coconut Rice and Cuban Black Beans

  • $5.95 lunch-size
  • $11.00 full size
  • Calories 129/oz.
  • Net Weight 5.2 oz
  • Protein 21 g. (full-sized)

This sautéed blend includes black beans, onions, rice, bell peppers, coconut milk, golden raisins, Poblano peppers, scallions, almonds, cilantro, salt, olive oil, garlic, cumin, Adobo seasoning, cinnamon, black pepper, and oregano. This meal is available to buy here.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Kale and Quinoa

  • $5.95 lunch-size
  • $11.00 full size
  • Calories 121/oz.
  • Net Weight 4.2 oz.
  • Protein 19 g. (full-sized)

This simple but delicious meal will have you full of energy for miles. It’s made up of sweet potato, kale, onion, quinoa, pumpkin seeds, canola oil, salt, garlic, lemon juice, and black pepper. This refreshing meal is available here.

Blueberry Banana Crunch

  • $4.75
  • Calories 120/oz.
  • Net Weight 3.5 oz.

This delicious fruit combo oatmeal mix is a great way to start your day on the trail. It includes a variety of ingredients such as gluten-free rolled oats, dried bananas, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, dried blueberries, black sesame seeds, agave syrup, hemp seeds, flaxseed, flaxseed meal, chia seeds, brown sugar, olive oil, salt, and cinnamon. You can find this meal for sale here.
There are also several other delicious meals available on websites such as Amazon. Following is a list of some of their best-selling meals.

Good-to-Go Herbed Mushroom

  • $10.00 single serving
  • $14.25 double serving
  • Gluten-free and vegan
  • Dehydrated, which makes it very lightweight

The Good-to-Go brand is known for making delicious meals that are handmade and packaged in Maine, USA. These are delicious meal packs for backpacking, and there are many flavors. The Herbed Mushroom is Amazon’s choice for vegetarian backpacking food. You can purchase it here.

Mountain House Pasta Primavera

  • $8.50 pouch
  • Freeze-dried which makes for a very lightweight meal
  • Extremely quick prep (10 minutes)
  • The incredible shelf life of 30+ years

Mountain House Pasta Primavera is highly rated on Amazon and is one of their top choices for vegetarian backpackers. This meal includes ingredients such as zucchini, spiral macaroni, cauliflower, broccoli, red & yellow peppers, and green beans in a creamy, and parmesan cheese sauce. You can find this delicious meal here.

Backpacker’s Pantry Three Sisters Stew

  • $8.99 pouch
  • 410 calories per servings
  • 6 oz
  • 14 g of protein
  • Gluten-free and vegan

Backpacker’s Pantry is a great company to purchase backpacking food from, as they actually donate 1% of their sales to nonprofit organizations that vow to protect the environment. Plus, their food is absolutely delicious which is a major bonus. This meal is full of everything you’d need to sustain yourself such as corn, beans, squash, quinoa, and brown rice. You can purchase this meal here.


Homemade recipes are great to take on the trail! The following recipes from Trail Recipes are truly phenomenal. The following are some of the best vegetarian recipes that pack in the calories and keep the weight of the food down. With the following recipes, I’ll include a short summary of their nutritional value so you can easily compare your favorite recipes.

Three Mushroom Risotto

  • Calories – 669
  • Weight - 147 gr/5.2 oz
  • Protein - 25.7 g.

You can find the recipe here.

Apple Cinnamon Barley Cereal

  • Calories -382
  • Weight 87 gr/3.1oz
  • Protein 5.9 g

Click here for the recipe.

Apricot Pistachio Salami

  • Calories -126
  • Weight8 94 g/ 3.1 oz
  • Protein 4.3 g
Click here for the recipe.

Baked Apples with Vanilla Sauce

  • Calories 255
  • Weight 212 gr/7.5 oz
  • Protein 3g
Follow this link to the recipe.

Banana Chips

  • Calories 115
  • Weight 33 gr/1.2 oz
  • Protein 1.3 g

Find out how to make these delicious banana chips here.

Basil Polenta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

  • Calories 419
  • Weight 96 gr/3.4 oz
  • Protein 12.7 g

This recipe is available here.

Chickpea and Spinach Curry

  • Calories 698
  • Weight 100gr/3.5 oz
  • Protein 19.9 g
Follow this link to the recipe.

Crunch Peanut Butter Oatmeal

  • Calories 348
  • Weight 74 gr/2.6 oz
  • Protein 13.5 g

The recipe is available here.

Fruity Dream

  • Calories 480
  • Weight 80 gr/2.8 oz
  • Protein 8.1g

This delicious homemade recipe is available here.

Mujadara: Lebanese Lentil Stew

  • Calories 286
  • Weight 102 gr/3.6 oz
  • Protein 9.8g

This stew recipe is available here.

Pumpkin Chia Overnight Oats

  • Calories 324
  • Weight 70 gr/2.5 oz
  • Protein 16g

Follow this link to get this recipe.

Strawberry Almond Oatmeal

  • Calorie 420
  • Protein 14.5 g
  • Can mix any fruit you like

Learn how to make this oatmeal here.


Snacks are also an incredibly important thing to plan during your trip. It’s essential to have those high-protein snacks to help boost your energy mid-day. Many sights will suggest jerky as a snack suggestion. But there are many non-meat options. Following are some tried and true snacks you can pack to give you a boost.

How to Stay Nourished

Sometimes it can be hard to make up for the nutrients lost by not eating meat. But there are some simple things you can add to your diet to make sure you’re staying nourished and healthy.


Lastly, I want to leave you with some tips about how to get enough protein without meat in general, but especially while backpacking. The first tip is to make nuts a part of your daily diet. Nuts of all kinds pack a lot of protein, but especially peanuts. Because of this, peanut butter is also an incredible condiment you can add to many of your snacks and meals. (Who doesn’t like apples and peanut butter?) You can also even add protein pills to your diet. This is an easy way to supplement your diet on the trail.


Especially on the trail, it can be a great idea to add extra iron to your diet because this increases the amount of oxygen in your blood. This will keep you energized for much longer than if you’re low on iron. You can add iron to your diet in many ways but some of the best are beans, lentils, cashews, spinach, and whole-grain bread.

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